Advice on bathing your baby, designed to give you confidence when washing your baby in the bath, including bath and bath seat safety advice .
Parents of newborn babies often are worried about how and when to wash their baby. Here are some helpful tips:
Washing your baby's genital area
- You need to keep your baby clean and washed, but it is not necessary to give your baby a full bath every day. Two or three times a week will be plenty until he or she begins to crawl. However you will need to wash your baby's face, neck, hands and bottom daily.
- Wash your baby's skin with mild soap once or twice a week. Daily use of soap is only necessary on the hands and the bottom. The rest of your baby's body can just be washed with water on most days, unless it is particularly dirty.
- Use warm water, never hot, as it may scald your baby's sensitive skin.
- Make sure you have everything you need on hand, including soap, shampoo, towel, nappy and clothing. Be sure to hold baby firmly.
- When washing, start with the cleanest areas first, and work toward the dirtiest, so that the flannel and the water remain clean for as long as possible.
- After washing each area, rinse thoroughly. Take special care when washing your baby's face, neck, ears, buttocks, genitals, and folds of skin.
- Your baby's hair will only need shampooing once or twice a week. Just rinse hair with water on days between shampooing.
- To wash your baby's ears, wash only the outside of the ear. Never put anything (such as an ear bud) into your baby's ear.
When washing your baby's genitals, use a soft, clean cloth and lukewarm water. For girls, be sure to wash the area from front to back, being careful to gently clean between the folds of skin. No special care is needed to clean a boy's uncircumcised penis. Do not try to pull back the foreskin to clean underneath, this is not necessary. Simply wash the penis with soap and water.